Here is my “Top Ten” (Part 1, 10 -6) list of things I don’t care about anymore. Tomorrow I’ll publish 5-1. Next up: Things that didn’t used to matter to me that now do!
TOP 10: Things I Don’t Care About Anymore (Part 1):
10. Fitting In: I spent so much of my life stuck in a proverbial “Costume Party” trying to wear the right philosophical outfit in front of the right people. I’m me. I’m working continuously to be conformed to the image of Christ, and you might like me anyway. Or you won’t. Either way, I’m just me.
9. Impressing Everyone: Life is no video game. I’m not scoring points or gaining levels and special abilities as I go. I’ve learned that as a pastor, there is a temptation to have something more impressive to say, or claim, or whatever, every time we get in front of a microphone or a camera. Where does it end? Forgive me if it doesn’t seem like I am trying as hard as I used to. I promise it isn’t about you. I think.
8. The Limelight: I used to believe that the more I did what God wanted, the more “opportunity” He would give me. The problem is this is only kind of true. He does tend to give me opportunities more and more. But these opportunities cannot be measured by the same metric that I used to value. Standing on a bigger stage with brighter lights and a larger crowd isn’t necessarily a blessing from God. And I don’t run in a crowd that values a “platform” more than a chance to share Jesus with someone they’ve invested in and connected with. An evening in my backyard with my family is more desirable than a flyer with my photo condemning me to several nights away from my family, away from my yard, and miked up on a stage like I was Charlie Sheen.
7. The Church Music Deathmatch: Some churches have a cool band like ours. Some do straight up hymns with a full choir & orchestra (like we do at an earlier service). Some will try an unfortunate blend of everything at the same time to make everyone happy (and then shockingly, everyone isn’t happy). My thing is simple: I like good, and I know bad when I hear it. If a church is awesome at choir & orchestra, then roll with it. If you have some gifted and talented younger folks that can flat out kill it on stage, then give them the service. Do the best thing. What makes your people sing the loudest? What engages the most of your people as they sit (and stand) together on Sunday morning? I’m not into the “one is holier than the other.” You can do multiple venues and services, but man, blending them all together is just bleh.
6. Arguing With Crazies: I get email from a lot of people. Occasionally I get email from some really weird people. I’ve read email demanding I convert to another religion, email about our music, email about how we should or shouldn’t do things from strangers, and stranger still, I actually respond sometimes out of courtesy. Here is a free slice of gold: there is too much misplaced anger in the world. I just don’t have time to divert from what God is doing to get bogged down in arguments about nothing. Or, even arguments about almost nothing. Tell me what you’re for, not what you’re against. Or better yet, tell some other guy!
That’s 10 -6 of my “Top Ten” list of things I don’t care about anymore. Tomorrow I’ll publish 5-1. Next up: Things that didn’t used to matter to me that now do!